Throughout the course of each week we benefit from the kindness and giving spirit of many volunteers at Equest. Individuals of all ages — from retired citizens to today’s youth come together to share their skills and devotion to better the lives of the challenged members of their community. Some work on Equest Projects from their homes, some prefer tackling those larger special renovation projects at the center, and still others enjoy assisting our special needs riders during their therapy sessions and working with the horses. There are many different reasons these individuals choose to come to Equest, but there is always a common factor that is found- The DESIRE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE in another’s life.
We rely on our volunteers to assist our participants during the therapeutic riding sessions in a team approach. It is the guidance, safety and encouragement a volunteer provides that enhances the Therapeutic Riding lesson. With their help disabilities are challenged and new abilities are created.
We ask for a minimum time commitment of about 2 hours. We can happily accommodate more hours, and/or more opportunities if you wish. You can choose a day and time that best fits your schedule. To volunteer in a Therapeutic Riding lesson you will need to attend an Orientation and Training. You will learn Equest Center policies and procedures and hands-on training in leading, sidewalking, mounting, dismounting, grooming and tacking.
We would be delighted to have you return after each break since experienced Therapeutic Riding lesson volunteers provide stability and a sense of community, familiarity with riders’ goals and needs, and proficiency with horses and tack.
If you would like to take the next step toward becoming an Equest volunteer, please contact Marissa Freyling, Volunteer Coordinator. Volunteers must be at least 14 years old to work in the riding arena. Volunteers who are at least 12 may help in the barn accompanied by a parent until they are able to demonstrate the willingness and ability to follow directions effectively.
- Demonstrates the willingness and ability to follow all barn safety rules.
- Demonstrates the ability to complete given tasks independently
- Treats all riders, volunteers, staff and animals with dignity and respect.
Volunteer opportunities not involving therapeutic riding class & care of the horses directly do not require attendance at a volunteer orientation, only registration and task specific training/information.
See Calendar for Volunteer Orientation and Training Dates
Volunteer Registration Forms available on-line by clicking the buttons at the top of this page.
Volunteer Opportunities: Horse Leader, Sidewalker, Tacking, Grooming and Barn Maintenance, Haycrew (Horse care and feeding), Special Events (Fundraisers, Easter with the Equest Bunny, Holiday Horse Show, Horsin Around at the Derby, Horses & Hands program…), Facility maintenance (repairs, weeding, flowers, painting, cleaning pastures, etc.), Administration (data entry, bulk mailing, filing, etc.)
Community Outreach: service projects are also available throughout the year for interested groups such as Boy/Girls Scouts, 4-H, Youth Leadership, Business groups, Church groups, & Schools. Orientation and Training is not necessary but volunteer registration is required. To learn about current projects – contact Equest Center’s Volunteer Coordinator.
Orientation and Training are necessary for the following volunteer opportunities.
Horse leader/handler primary responsibility is to the horse, i.e., prepare the horse for class, maintain safety spacing, and help the horse follow the directions of the rider during class.
Sidewalkers physically assist the rider (during riding, mounting and dismounting), help the rider guide their horse during the lesson, and assist the rider in following the directions of the instructor as necessary. The amount of assistance is dependent on each rider’s abilities. Sidewalkers must be at least 14 years old.
The Tacking, Grooming and Barn Maintenance assistants are the “behind the scenes” volunteers stationed in the barn preparing horses for lessons, leading horses from and to the pastures, feeding, grooming and tacking, keeping the barn area clean. (volunteers must meet age requirements for individual jobs in this area) A Lead Volunteer will assist with tack changes and horse turn out.